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Woman rescued after spending 2 days on floor after fall

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Avondale Senior Center driver Amelia Isidoro, left, smiles as she reconnects with Avondale resident Marylou Rosalez in her room. Rosalez, 77, was found by Isidoro after falling in her home two days prior. (West Valley View photo by Jordan Christopher)

By Glenn Gullickson

An Avondale woman considers herself lucky to be alive after falling and spending two days on the kitchen floor of her apartment before being found by a shuttle driver stopping by to take her to the senior center.

Marylou Rosalez, 77, returned to her apartment two weeks ago after spending time in the hospital and then recovering at a West Valley rehabilitation center from injuries sustained in the fall.

“I think I’m very, very lucky,” said Rosalez.

It was early afternoon on June 10 — a Saturday — when Rosalez said she went to the kitchen for some water and lost her balance, falling to the floor, unable to get up.

“I found I couldn’t move,” she said. “I just couldn’t get up.”

Rosalez said she spent the next two days in and out of consciousness, with nothing to eat or drink, and her walker out of reach.

Rosalez spends weekdays at the Avondale Senior Center, where she plays games and eats lunch, and by the next Monday morning, Amelia Isidoro, a driver for the center, was on her route to take folks to the center.

But Isidoro said she became concerned when Rosalez didn’t answer the routine phone call she made in advance of stopping at the apartment.

When Rosalez didn’t answer a second call, then failed to appear at the front of the first-floor apartment as usual, Isidoro went to knock on the door.

“That’s when I heard her say, ‘Help me, help me, I’ve fallen,’” Isidoro said. “The No. 1 thing that came to mind was 9-1-1.”

After calling for help and trying to open the door and a window without success, Isidoro said she went to the apartment office, which was locked. But she pounded on the office door to get the attention of maintenance men inside, who unlocked Rosalez’s door.

“Sure enough, she was on the floor face down,” Isidoro said. “I stayed with her until paramedics got there.”

Isidoro said she found Rosalez dehydrated, with dried blood on her face, mumbling and breathing hard. So for about 10 minutes, she worked to comfort the injured woman with a monologue about events at the senior center.

“I wanted to take her mind off the incident,” Isidoro said.

Rosalez said she suffered bruises on her arms and chest and was still sore several days after the incident.

Isidoro said the center’s drivers are certified as CPR first aid providers, but it was the first time she had encountered such a problem in the year she has been driving for the center.

She said she knew what to do after observing similar situations at the senior center.

“It was very frightening. I was kind of in shock afterward,” she said.

Sheryl Steele, family service manager at Care1st Avondale Resource Center, said it’s not uncommon for senior center workers to encounter similar situations as they provide transportation or deliver meals to seniors.

“I love my staff. All we do is serve folks every day,” Steele said. “Sometimes, we’re the only eyes on them.”

 
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